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Business environment

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Introduction

Running Head: BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT Business Environment Antoine Bruneel Portsmouth University Business environment Business ethics is a well-institutionalized academic field, which deals with the moral dimension of business activity. In the context of international business, it means the treating of moral questions of international cultures and countries. International business should be sensitive to the environment and not just selfish for its own profits. Ethically, safety comes first and the profit comes last. The various issues that ethics target are diverse - environmental concerns, animal welfare issues, labor practices, fair trade, health concerns, genetic modification, patenting of genes, cloning etc. International business is both more exposed to a variety of ethical conditions as well as in a position to exploit business ethics due to the sheer size an international company has. The end result of an ethical judgment entails its authenticity from being morally correct. But moral correction itself is a relative concept and is based upon the cultural perceptions as well as traditions. The international market and business arena can be ethically segmented into the 'die hard', the 'don't cares', and the various groups in between. Companies all around the world are coming under scrutiny from governments, shareholders, customers, trade unions, human-rights groups, and others to prove that their activities are conducted in ethical ways. Ethics plays very important roles in international business and appreciates the impact and importance of the majority view in maintaining an ethical business standard. It derives its contents from what the majority perceives of a thing. ...read more.

Middle

There must be clear understanding of what constitutes acceptable ethical behavior; 2) There must be an effective mechanism for ensuring the company follows ethical practices. We must understand what ethical behavior is before an effective mechanism to enforce ethical behavior can be developed. Traditionally, an ethic is value based and stems from socio-economic contexts. The major theoretical approaches to ethics frequently conflict and the evaluation of ethics may depend more on the framework than the issue. One test involved in Kantian theory involves a normative ethic. This ethic is one that, at a minimum, all rational people would find acceptable after carefully considering the pros and cons of an issue. The normative approach implies ethical behavior centered on the rights of others and follows the Golden Rule. This approach to ethical decision making allows considerable discretion as it relies on value based beliefs and attitudes. Therefore, even within the normative approach, inconsistent decisions can be made about the ethical nature of a business decision. The Utilitarian theory of ethics implies that consequences of actions will determine ethical behavior. This approach suggests that outcomes drive the decision, and being responsible for the results of business decisions will promote ethical behavior. Still, some decisions have unintended consequences not considered by the decision process. Unethical actions may result from decisions that were initially believed ethical. Conversely, ethical actions may follow unethical decisions. The Contractual theory of elhics relies on actual or hypothetical contracts and laws to determine and monitor ethical behavior. ...read more.

Conclusion

This report should serve a basis for developing a framework for ethical decision making that is both practical and effective. The primary lessons derived from this study are as follows: 1. Top management must be committed to ethical conduct and must provide constant leadership in attending to and renewing organizational values. 2. Carrying out ethical behavior requires a comprehensive ethical perspective that all levels of the company understand and use. The "code of ethics" cannot cover all situations but helps guide the judgments and consciences of people making specific recommendations. 3. A vigorous and continuously renewed process of implementing ethical behavior is essential. 4. Personnel at all levels of the company must be involved and committed to ethical performance. 5. Results of programs must be assessed. A successful method of resolving the ethical dilemma should use a practical framework for decision making. This framework should blend the successful experiences of modern corporations with organizational, social and philosophical theories. Externally imposed ethical control through an outside board of directors member is not an effective solution. The ambiguity of what constitutes ethical behavior makes external control of this behavior difficult if not impossible. Problems with implementing the legal requirement for a professional ethics board member also make this type of control impractical. To be effective, the framework must be integrated into the corporate structure and supported at all levels. The Business Roundtable provides information on business experiences that could serve as a foundation for developing this framework. ...read more.

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